View Full Version : Earthquake (shaken and stirred) - VFX Challenge - vfx

11 November 2002, 06:27 PM
Well, I've managed to get hold of a decent video camera so I've decided its worth participating.

I have had quite a thinking session and its so hard to come up with something a little original when dealing with an earthquake scene. But I finally came up with something I think will work well. That's why I'm posting now, before someone else thinks of something like it and then it would be back to the drawing board!

So here is my storyboard.

I shot the footage today, and will begin as soon as possible.
The idea is to have a earthquake that breaks up part of a bridge, due to the crack that appears. Parts of the bridge will fall into the water and splashes will rise. Other elements like the lamp post will shake and break smashing down.
After scouting a location, I found a cool bridge, but it didn't really match the background so i will replace it with a matte, thus killing two birds with one stone, as i will have a background behind the broken wall area which is not visible to the camera. I was thinking of creating a matte that resembled Russia as the bridge is very grey and cementy!! I will also add, mist to increase the atmosphere.

Ok, let me know what you think.

11 November 2002, 11:59 PM
Looks like this is going to be good. Have you seen Brazil by Terry Gilliams? Maybe the backround should be some massive gritty/dirty cityscape? Could be cool. About the bits of the bridge that splashes in to the water, would not the water be to far under the bridge for the camera to see the splash? Just a tought, maybe you have a solution for that already.

Cheers, Knut.

11 November 2002, 10:09 AM
Thanks for the positive comments Knut. Yes I have seen Brazil, and that's a pretty close comparison I suppose. However, I dont want the background to pull too much attention to itself so it I will probably add depth of field to the shot.

As regards the water. Well, I'll put up a shot of the bridge, from an extior view just to show how close the water is - Only thing that could really pass under are small rowing boats and swans. - It,s about 1-2 metres to the water. So that's why that idea sprouted.

Cool, Will be posting those pics tomorrow when i can capture my film.

11 November 2002, 01:01 PM
Sounds very interesting.

I like idea of russian-style background. I think you will have hard time with water splashes so good luck :)

waiting for pics:airguitar

11 November 2002, 01:44 PM
Her you go - as promised.

One of the stills shows the original background the other the matted out area which will be replaced with my own montage of buildings.

Also there is a still showing the bridge from another view which shows just how close the water is to the bridge just to help proove why the wall would splash up water.

I kinda understand why someguys have queried the whole still instead of video, cos in my video there are no (as far as i can tell)
moving objects - just a bird which will go anyway. So I thought i'd add some smoke to one of the buildings chimneys.

Ok, let me know what you think.

11 November 2002, 02:30 PM

11 November 2002, 02:40 PM
background removal

11 November 2002, 02:42 PM

11 November 2002, 03:15 PM

i was wondering if you removed the background on this pic on ly or on all of the footage? and if so how? it it hard?...and WHY?

i am clueless....

11 November 2002, 03:54 PM
Well, At the mo that is just from the still, but because the camera has to be locked off (no movement) for this particular contest, I will do a similar thing but track a matte in after effects. You do that by making a selection through the footage and track through the time scale and voila - or something like that. Will explain it in more detail when I do it.

11 November 2002, 03:56 PM
Thank you VFX :) can't wait to see you in action

11 November 2002, 07:08 PM
Here is a test crack that I did quickly today.


I took 2 boxes, put ffd boxes on each and put them side by side, I then animated the movement along the box.
As regards the texture, I selected both boxes, and applied the texture across both to simulate a seamless object.

Another trick is to make a spline crack, extrude and then animate it falling at an angle into the box - boolean the crack with the box and you should get a crack run along the box.

If this sounds confusing I'll explain it in more detail if asked to.

11 November 2002, 07:46 PM
Um, I look forward to your crit,

I realise that its too smooth a crack at the mo but I'll work on that. - Oh and excuse the short distance the crack travels its just a test.


Make sure you right click and save target as to view

11 November 2002, 07:59 PM
Good to see that you are getting along nicely. The speed of the animation is good and the size. But I think the animation is a bit soft. (Like someone is pushing butter/clay) Asphalt have a hard surface that cracks more than it bulges (I think). I am myself trying very hard to solve how to make my alley crack, and have the houses pull apart. Going to try camera maching it now.

Keep up the good work.

11 November 2002, 08:59 PM
Yes I agree with Knut.

Animation looks to soft and clay-like. In real I thnk that asfalt should create large broken pices.

11 November 2002, 05:51 PM
Hi people,

OK I'm gettin along nicely, but I got a little question concerning max!

I've just finished modelling the required bits of the bridge, I then applied camera map modifier to each object and put on the corresponding map. That was easy, BUT - Now I need to deform the mesh, and so I need to burn the textures onto the object mesh. How do i do this?

If I apply uvw mapping after it looses the camera mapped texture, and converting the object into a mesh doesn't help me get the texture from the object so i can add extra damage to it later. Any help would be much appreciated.

Oh also, does anyone have any idea how to morph textures on an object or know of any good tutorials?

Thanks all.

11 November 2002, 11:59 PM
You have to use the camera map modifier without the (*) in front (a.e. do not use the global camera map modifier). if that does not work. try to put a unwrap UVW modifier after the camera map modifier (I've heard that that locks textures. Won't work with global camera map midifier though).


11 November 2002, 12:02 AM
Thnx Knut, but I have used the modifier without the * as instructed in the max tutorial but with no luck. Will try your other suggestion.

11 November 2002, 12:08 AM
Ok..i reread your post and maybe you put your cameramap above your deformation modifier in the stack. That won't work. But i guess you know as much.

Morph textures: You could use the blend material. But i also think there is an morph map that is used together with the morph modifier. Hope that helps.


11 November 2002, 11:11 AM
Did some more tests over the weekend.

Included is my first quick test (rough animation) of the wall breaking up, and a quick test of the smoke that will appear out of the ground crack as it appears.

11 November 2002, 11:22 AM
Soz about size and quality, but you can blame cgtalk for that lol:p

11 November 2002, 02:16 PM
looks nice...the bridge cracks need better detail. :bounce:
and the animation seems a bit static and linear somehow :airguitar
Can't wait to see the final :beer:

11 November 2002, 08:48 PM
I think the smoke/steam looks good. The wall crumbling might benefit from some more fragments? It's a bit 'chunky' at the moment. Looks promising though.

11 November 2002, 12:17 AM
Ok here is my last test before I start to compile all this stuff together.

This is the water effect that will spray up when the bricks fall. I was really worried about this, cos max sucks when it comes to particles, but thanks to a friend who has had to get real wave and flow for some work he's doing for a company, I found a good solution.

Hope you like it.

You need divx 5 to view.

11 November 2002, 06:05 AM
well, have you done anything lately?

11 November 2002, 04:37 PM
The water spray looks good. Seems like often a splash like that comes down to just the right amount of motion blur without making the water look like a spray. BTW I think there is a 30 day demo of realwave and realflow suitable for non-commercial stuff like this. Might save you a trip to your friend's place next time.

11 November 2002, 09:29 PM
Ok, thanks for the advice on realwave. As regards my progress, I have now completed the crack which runs along the floor, i have just finished compiling the bricks behind a plaster layer which will break away and reveal the bricks, and then they fall.

Just finding the best way to make the cracks that run up the wall - any ideas im using max? Ps don't mention booleans!! lol

11 November 2002, 10:24 PM
I'm using Max also and I used booleans for the cracks, but on 2D splines, not geometry. After all of the cracked splines were set I extruded them.

If your looking to crack up an existing 3D object without booleans maybe the slice tool under polyobject would be helpful. Would take an aweful lot of slicing to get a good look though.

12 December 2002, 01:01 PM
Ok, please be patient whilst I find somewhere to host the actual animation. But in the mean time, here's a quick image reminder of what the original looked like.

12 December 2002, 05:23 PM
here is the original!

I've put in a new matte background, for 2 purposes, first was to show the area hidden behind the wall when it collapses, and the second it looks much nicer. lol

Expect a making of soon.

12 December 2002, 07:38 PM
Ok, trying to upload the footage. Hope this works

Anyone know anywhere I can upload?

12 December 2002, 07:39 PM
doesn't work

12 December 2002, 08:28 PM
Ok, Think I've cracked it.

right click and save target

I'll upload another file shortly, in sorensen codec as required by the rules.

12 December 2002, 08:58 PM
Small sorensen will follow shortly.

A MacVey
12 December 2002, 10:44 PM
man you used geocities! it runs out of bandwith really fast

12 December 2002, 10:52 PM
Sorry buddy, but it aint too bad - comes down real quick if you got good connection

Update- not using geocities anymore

12 December 2002, 01:01 AM
Can't get to download your Video....

12 December 2002, 09:18 AM
Argh! This is so stupid!! Sorry Cobrax, there must be some limit on the number of times you can download the movie. So I have updated the large file download and it works great (for 30 days)and will eventually do the same with the small sorensen one. It's a bit silly, that Cgchallenge doesn't have the ability to put your finished work on their site - Crazy!!

Oh, plus what do you all think of this voting system - I already notice a pattern developing - why can't cgchallenge be like cgchat where a bunch of judges analyse and pick the best piece according to their expertise!

Being picky now, suppose I got some extra work done!!

If this continmues not to work I'll find another solution. Thanks all.

12 December 2002, 11:04 AM
Actually, there was a post (I think it's one of the stickys) saying that the winners will be decided by CGTalk, and that voting was opened just for interest.

12 December 2002, 11:29 AM
Right cheers for that man - didn't know - what ignorance!!

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